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What to Do When Baby Won’t Sleep
If your baby is not sleeping, there is a chance that there is something that needs to change in their daily schedule, nighttime routine or sleeping environment. There will be times, despite our best efforts and intentions, that our baby will not sleep. Even good sleepers need a little help from time to time. Here are some of the things that could be stopping you and your baby from getting a good night’s sleep. Changing even one of these things can do the trick if your baby isn’t sleeping well.
A child is overstimulated
If your baby has a hard time falling asleep, or wakes up 20 to 30 minutes after falling asleep, you may need to establish a good sleep routine. A child needs time to go from a playful, excited state to a relaxed state. By practicing a good sleep routine every night and at every nap time, your baby will settle down and settle into a relaxed position. Try things that add to the baby’s relaxed, comfortable environment such as turning down the lights, rocking the baby and playing soothing music or tummy sounds.
A child is hungry
If your baby used to sleep for a long time and wakes up suddenly every 3-4 hours, or if he wakes up at night crying and giving a full feeding, your baby may be hungry. A newborn needs to be fed about every 2 hours but at around three months old your baby should be able to go for 5-6 hours without needing a feed . Sometimes these late night feedings can be avoided by giving the baby a full feed around 10 or 11 at night. Another good thing to do is to feed your baby every 2-3 hours a day. The idea is that if your baby is getting enough calories and nutrients during the day, they don’t need to ask you at night. Also, when there is growth, your baby needs to eat more. Prevent extra feeding during the night by adding another food during the day.
Baby Is Too Attached To You Or Something Else
If your baby needs something outside of herself to fall asleep (like a rocker or a pacifier), or needs to be held and can’t be put down or won’t sleep in your own crib, you may have to be very serious about fixing these things. Improving these behaviors will help your baby and you in the long run.
If letting your baby sleep in your bed once before has made your baby dependent on sleeping next to you then you need to take steps to correct this. Start by helping her associate her sleep space with positive things and give her time to adjust.
If your baby needs her pacifier in her mouth to sleep to the point where you are constantly putting the pacifier back in her mouth, she is very dependent on the that peacemaker. Start by teaching a child to soothe his own hand and only give the child the pacifier when he struggles. As soon as the baby is calm again remove the packer. After three months, consider getting rid of them completely as they are no longer developmentally beneficial.
Also, a common misconception is that the child needs to be comfortable every time he gets up at night. This is not true because the child wakes up often when he is asleep. Night waking is something everyone does. Most people wake up, look around and make sure they are still safe where they are and then go back to sleep. So even when a baby wakes up at night and makes a lot of noise, she could just be waking up during the night and should have a chance to self-soothe. Most of the time, your baby will be able to fall back asleep without your help.
Child is uncertain
If your baby has trouble falling asleep, gets up every hour (except infants) or sleeps during the day but doesn’t sleep at night , you may need a strong daily routine. An unstructured, unpredictable daily life can cause a child’s insecurities. Organize this by making sure there are at least 3 daily signs of consistency, such as feeding baby every three hours, doing tummy time and taking naps. Follow the pattern of eating, playing and sleeping.
It’s Way Too Hot in There
If your baby is waking up every 2 hours to be fed and the soft spot on their head is more visible, they may be dehydrated. At just 5-weeks old my daughter was sleeping in 5-8 hour stretches, however, when the first signs of fall hit, she started waking up every 2-3 hours which had to be fed. I soon realized that as it had gotten colder, we had left the heater running. The only reason I was growing up to reach for my water, my daughter was crying for me. The simple solution is to use a humidifier. By keeping the air moist, you will prevent or at least stop those foods during the night that cause the dry, hot air.
Baby Is Too Hot
If the air temperature is too hot or too cold your baby will let you know about it. Newborns have a hard time regulating their body temperature, so they rely heavily on you to keep them feeling good. It is recommended that you put on one layer in addition to what you are wearing. The room temperature in your baby’s room should be kept between 65 and 75 degrees.
Creating a strong daily schedule, nighttime routine and peaceful sleep environment will go a long way to ensuring restful nights and lively days. These baby sleep tips will help your baby succeed as a great sleeper. Take some advice and be sure your baby will never sleep the same again.
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